Objectives: The satellite was designed to sense
meteorological conditions from a fixed location above the Earth, and to
provide this data to operational forecasters and private interests on the
ground. It was the first geostationary satellite to provide continuous
vertical profiles of atmospheric temperature and moisture.
spacecraft was a cylinder 85 inches in diameter, 138 inches high and
weighed 874 pounds. The sides of the cylinder were covered by 15,000 solar
cells which, along with nicad batteries, provided the power for the craft.
Contained within, but protruding from the base was the primary instrument -
the VAS (Visible Infrared Spin Scan Radiometer (VISSR) Atmospheric Sounder)
and its sunshade. This instrument provided both day and night imagery of
cloud conditions as well as temperature and moisture profiles over the
full-disk. Unfortunately, the dwell times of sounder versus imager do not
permit these two operations to occur simultaneously; however, soundings are
still available on an hourly basis.
The satellite also used new despun
S-band and UHF antennas to improve the relay of meteorological data from
over 10,000 surface locations into a central processing center for
incorporation into numerical weather prediction models, and to perform
facsimile transmission of processed images and weather maps to WEFAX field
stations. In addition, a Space Environment Monitor (SEM) and Data
Collection System (DCS) similar to those on the previous GOES were
GOES-4 was placed in a geostationary orbit directly over the
equator over the Pacific (135W).
Participants: NASA, NOAA, Hughes Aircraft,
September 9, 1980
Deactivated November 22, 1988
Cape Canaveral, FL
1968 - 1977
1978 - 1987
1988 - 1997